The Flight Portfolio
By Julie Orringer
MARSEILLE, 1940. Varian Fry, a Harvard-educated journalist and editor, arrives in France. Recognizing the darkness descending over Europe, he and a group of like-minded New Yorkers formed the Emergency Rescue Committee, helping artists and writers escape from the Nazis and immigrate to the United States. Now, amid the chaos of World War II, and in defiance of restrictive U.S. immigration policies, Fry must procure false passports, secure visas, seek out escape routes through the Pyrenees and by sea, and make impossible decisions about who should be saved, all while under profound pressure—and in a state of irrevocable personal change. In this dazzling work of historical fiction—one that illuminates previously unexplored elements of Fry’s story, and has, since its publication, brought us new insight into his life—Julie Orringer, award-winning author of The Invisible Bridge, has crafted a gripping tale of forbidden love, high-stakes adventure, and unimaginable courage.
“A gripping, tender novel.” —The New Yorker
“Magnificent . . . a deeply researched, almost unbearably tense, bruised-knuckle hybrid. Part real history and part love story, it’s also a deeply moral work, asking tough questions about what matters most to us personally—and to the world.” —The Boston Globe
“Sympathetic and prodigiously ambitious. . . . [Orringer’s] Marseille breathes as a city breathes.” —Cynthia Ozick, The New York Times Book Review
“The novel seeks a kind of redress: restoring, to history’s vast panorama, a granular sense of how life on the borderlines of fascism feels . . . Orringer’s true subject, the moral peril of being alive, is a grandly timeless—and timely—one.” —T Magazine